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Author Topic: Timing and balance  (Read 1407 times)

Jenett

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Timing and balance
« on: March 17, 2018, 06:42:29 pm »
I'm curious about how other people balance timing and other things, for rituals or magical practices that have some complexity (i.e. need some set up, or will take an hour or so to do, not daily things or short things you do regularly).

What works for you? What doesn't? What sometimes works? Do you have tricks for doing this?

(The reason I'm thinking about this today in a following reply.)
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Jenett

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2018, 06:54:13 pm »
I'm curious about how other people balance timing and other things, for rituals or magical practices that have some complexity (i.e. need some set up, or will take an hour or so to do, not daily things or short things you do regularly).

So, the reason I'm thinking about this today is that there's a trad specific ritual that is done around this time this year. It's not explicitly linked to any particular thing on the calendar like a full moon or new moon, though it is ideally done close to but before the spring equinox.

And every year, I struggle with the scheduling. (Even when I was doing it with other people, we often did, though the scheduling was somewhat simplified by there being a limited number of nights when all the people needed could get free at the same time for two hours or so, so it was more 'which of these three nights in this 10 day period is best' and we'd make it work.)

It's the kind of ritual where I want to do some proper house cleaning beforehand, which also means time to do that (and energy.) And the ritual itself takes about an hour, give or take.

Due to the chronic health stuff (which makes cleaning particularly hard for me) I have a cleaning service come once a month, so things are more manageable, but it's still taken me all day to get the apartment to the point I'd be willing to ritual, and I've only done two other things on the list of things I'd like to get done today that weren't about cleaning.

(I'd hoped to do more during the week, but a combination of having to shovel out from the massive snowstorm and a thing at work that meant I was standing for 2+ hours yesterday wiped out my ability to do much.)

And yet. We're coming up rapidly on the equinox, doing it today is not horrible astrologically speaking (and has the benefit of the new moon) and it's better than tomorrow or Monday will be. So in about 40 minutes, I'm going to go do that ritual thing.

This is manageable, but not elegant, and I'm wondering if there are elegant solutions out there in the first place, or if there are tips we can swap about this kind of thing.
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Sobekemiti

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2018, 09:58:07 am »
I'm curious about how other people balance timing and other things, for rituals or magical practices that have some complexity (i.e. need some set up, or will take an hour or so to do, not daily things or short things you do regularly).

What works for you? What doesn't? What sometimes works? Do you have tricks for doing this?

(The reason I'm thinking about this today in a following reply.)

A lot of the time I consider how much time I'll need, either for cleaning or purifications or whatnot. Most of the time, I get around this by just doing ritual post-9pm, when I know the house will be quiet, though sometimes I also try for a night when I'll be home alone, so I can ritual without being disturbed.

I don't do a lot of complex big rituals, the main ones might really only be the High Days/Sabbats/Festivals, which always need some prep. Deipnon/dark moon needs at the very least house cleansing and shrine cleaning, and in the lead up to Wep Ronpet, that involves prepping for six days of ritual on top of all the New Year type of preparations I do as well, and the big shrine clean and statue clean I do that time of year. I try to wash them all and let them sit outside in the summer sun, so I try to time that big clean to a day when it's going to be warm enough to do that. Which, arguably, isn't hard in summer, but it's balancing a reasonable 32C vs unbearable 40C+, since it involves cleaning and going outside and no one wants to do that in 40C heat no way.

Mostly, I'm on top of it, but to be honest, the only festivals I really consistently celebrate are Wep Ronpet and the Mysteries of Wesir. I'm kind of meh about the rest, and don't beat myself up if I miss them. I do try to mark them when I can, but sometimes, the energy just isn't there. Which probably means I need to rethink my wheel again, but ehhhh. I'm in such a flux at the moment in terms of seasonal and yearly celebrations that the only thing I do regularly that isn't daily is the deipnon for Hekate every month.
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Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2018, 01:33:46 pm »
I'm curious about how other people balance timing and other things, for rituals or magical practices that have some complexity (i.e. need some set up, or will take an hour or so to do, not daily things or short things you do regularly).

What works for you? What doesn't? What sometimes works? Do you have tricks for doing this?

(The reason I'm thinking about this today in a following reply.)

I'm fortunate enough to have dedicated ritual space which is almost always clean and ritual ready. If it isn't then it doesn't take long to get it ready (I do appreciate that this is a great luxury).

I'm also fairly organised and I tend to prepare any items I'm going to need well in advance, especially if I know I'm going to be busy later - so my incense ingredients will be collected and the incense made in good time along with any other special items I need.

I have an infused oil I will be using for equinox already in the slow cooker and it really just needs straining now and bottling.  I have a good store of candles and other consumables I have built up over the years so everything I might need I probably already have. It takes a lot of the pressure off.

I've always been relaxed about timing. Most of my work is done between time and space so physical timing doesn't really matter that much. I also tend to pick a time where I know I won't be disturbed and when I have got no other pressing calls on my time that day so things can take as long as they need to

There are exceptions to this though. If timing is vital ( as it was last autumn when I wanted to time a working that had been 12 months in preparation for the combination of dark moon and solar eclipse) It'll go in my diary like any other appointment. Group workings can often be scheduled 6 months in advance - Beltaine is already planned and in the diary ( did I say I was fairly organised???)

Waldhexe

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2018, 03:08:56 pm »
What works for you? What doesn't? What sometimes works? Do you have tricks for doing this?
I shedule some stuff much in advance and I have to-do-lists with priority things and non-priority things.

Since we normally don't celebrate the group rituals at my place, some of the flat keeping stuff (like cleaning windows) isn't a priority and gets moved to the next weekend if I have to much top-priority things which take too long (or when I'm too exhausted from work).

Priority to-dos on workdays are laundry and washing dishes and on the weekend the priorities are taking out organic trash, sweeping and bath room cleaning. After that comes stuff like ritual preparation. Non-priority is stuff like glas and paper trash, window cleaning, wet flor wiping the whole flat, dusting. If I don't manage I write it down for a different week.

I also have a schedule for the bardic course I'm taking with OBOD. I have distributed the different things on different days of the week. This doesn't work 100%, but it works well enough to give me some frame and helps me to catch up if I didn't manage to do a specific thing - I just do it a few days later.

What gets me a bit off-balance at the moment is overhours at work, but I'm looking forward to vaccation in a week.

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2018, 05:23:01 pm »
I'm curious about how other people balance timing and other things, for rituals or magical practices that have some complexity (i.e. need some set up, or will take an hour or so to do, not daily things or short things you do regularly).

What works for you? What doesn't? What sometimes works? Do you have tricks for doing this?

(The reason I'm thinking about this today in a following reply.)

I've got quite a few problems with ritual timing, though not in quite the same way. I know the Mexica had several festivals scheduled for certain days, and fortunately, some priests recorded the dates. However, they recorded these dates before the Gregorian calendar reforms, and I'm not entirely sure how I should handle this. Furthermore, different sources provide different dates from the start of the Nahua year. This could be important if these rituals are supposed to occur at specific times of the year. Or maybe the exact date isn't that important?

A good example of this is the Festival of the Sun. According to Diego Duran it was supposed to occur on March 11. However, Duran though the year began on March 1, while Rafael Tena stated that the Mexica year began on February 22. So ... did the Native year drift in the five decades, or did Duran just make a mistake? So, did the Festival of the Sun occur 11 days after the start of the year (which means I should celebrate it on March 4), or is March 11 fine (18 days after New Year)? And how does the Gregorian reform change this? Would the European calendar readjustment affect this at all? Does it even matter?

Calendar mathematics is hard.

Morbid

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2018, 09:10:20 pm »
I'm curious about how other people balance timing and other things, for rituals or magical practices that have some complexity (i.e. need some set up, or will take an hour or so to do, not daily things or short things you do regularly).

What works for you? What doesn't? What sometimes works? Do you have tricks for doing this?

(The reason I'm thinking about this today in a following reply.)

It almost sounds like you're having trouble visualizing or "seeing" the schedule which makes it more arbitrary.  It gives the illusion of having more time than you actually have.  I like Google Calendars where you can import different holidays and have them overlapped with each other.  It gives you an overlay where you can see everything then you have the option of actually planning out when and how you're going to do things.  You can add a color coded event say this block of time for prep, etc. 

For me I have to "see" the time frames on things, otherwise the dates don't line up for me.
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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2018, 09:18:44 pm »
It almost sounds like you're having trouble visualizing or "seeing" the schedule which makes it more arbitrary.  It gives the illusion of having more time than you actually have.  I like Google Calendars where you can import different holidays and have them overlapped with each other.  It gives you an overlay where you can see everything then you have the option of actually planning out when and how you're going to do things.  You can add a color coded event say this block of time for prep, etc. 

For me I have to "see" the time frames on things, otherwise the dates don't line up for me.
I should add to this under the google calendar you can add a custom calendar.  You might have to manually add the various events you aim to celebrate, but they would all display.  And they're color coded.
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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2018, 10:58:30 pm »
I should add to this under the google calendar you can add a custom calendar.  You might have to manually add the various events you aim to celebrate, but they would all display.  And they're color coded.

What is google calendar (well, other than a calendar)? Is it an app? If so I may have to check it out.

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2018, 03:14:09 am »
What is google calendar (well, other than a calendar)? Is it an app? If so I may have to check it out.
It's on the web and also a phone app.

I follow an organizational column (run by one of the authors of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) that works on the premise that if needs to happen it goes on the calendar, and if it's on the calendar it happens.

Things on my calendar get reminders on my phone, which works great, because I spend a lot of time on my phone.

Things on my calendar include: daily meds, daily offerings, meditation reminders, holidays, planning stuff for holidays, laundry, putting the laundry away, etc.

Ideally I have a reminder about a week out for the holiday, which let's me schedule more specific things. This doesn't always happen because I am still putting everything into the calendar. XD

In practice, serious ritual work happens a) after the kid is asleep or b) when I have a day off during the week. This is... pretty constrained, especially because kid isn't good at going to sleep right off. But I do the best I can and sometimes that means not quite as much as I'd like to.

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2018, 11:14:18 am »
It almost sounds like you're having trouble visualizing or "seeing" the schedule which makes it more arbitrary.  It gives the illusion of having more time than you actually have.  I like Google Calendars where you can import different holidays and have them overlapped with each other.  It gives you an overlay where you can see everything then you have the option of actually planning out when and how you're going to do things.  You can add a color coded event say this block of time for prep, etc.

Unfortunately, it doesn't solve my particular problem, but I hope it helps other people!

My organizational system lives in my to-do app (which is Todoist) - I mostly follow the Getting Things Done system to keep track of things, which only uses calendar stuff for fixed appointments, and otherwise focuses on contexts for what you do when. Here's a blog post with more details, for the curious. I put 'plan this thing' on as a task at an appropriate point, and then other prep steps as needed.

The big issue for me is that the chronic health issues really limit my stamina and how many things I can do in a day (and for how long I can do ones that involve more physical exertion). Doing an hour of cleaning often needs to be broken up into 3-4 segments, with a good hour or more between them, depending on the tasks, so it effectively takes 5 or 6 hours. (Saturday, I started at about 10am, and wasn't done until about 6:30. There was a lot of sitting down staring blankly at things in the middle.)

Or weeks like last one, where we
1) had major snowfall (which meant I had to dig the car out) wiped me out, even though I had snow days from work (so I didn't have to do the tasks I'd do at work)
2) had a doctor's appointment (necessary and good, but things outside my usual routines take me a lot more management than things like commuting in my usual way) and
3) then we had a launch for something on Friday that went great but involved about 2 hours of standing and walking around, which is way more of that than I usually do.

I'd known about the doctor's appointment and the launch in advance, which is why I was a bit dubious about if I'd be up for the ritual work on Saturday already, and then the snow really didn't help. (Since the ritual involves 'clean up sufficiently one can do ritual' and 'have energy and focus to do the ritual') And I had to make sure I had enough left to do the things I had scheduled on Sunday.

I track how much I do rather obsessively, which means that I know that on a reasonably good day, when the chronic stuff is not actively flaring, I am good for about an hour of physical movement (routine walking/etc.), and about 5 large tasks (that take about an hour or so each and require focus or creative thought) and 10-12 smaller tasks (like emails or posts). And in a good week, I am good for about 60-90 minutes of actual exertion-type exercise, and one or two things that involve leaving the house beyond going to work or the pool.

If I go too much over any of those, I will end up significantly less able to do focused or creative work (and that includes ritual work as well as 'things I need to do at the day job') or manage some things like, y'know, cooking dinner, for several days. Which is really good incentive not to push my limits too hard.

So, all the 'scheduling in advance' in the world is great - but I often hit 'actually, I can't do that thing because other necessary things came up' (had to shovel, there's no real way around it, had to deal with the launch at work).

And this particular ritual is not one that's very flexible about what's involved (because it's a 'we do the same thing every year, with very minor variations' thing), where, say, seasonal rituals, or 'I want to do this spellwork', there might be more variation in how involved it was.

And then there was the challenge of 'this is a ritual that has some timing limitations, but is not a precise date', and the question of 'do I want to make use of the new moon, or the astrology is also promising on Tuesday, but I have a regular monthly dinner thing with friends that night and Monday is not nearly as suitable' and ... well, it gets complicated.

In the end, I did the ritual on Saturday, but between that and the two things I did yesterday, I'm currently pretty useless today. (Enough so that if we didn't have a visiting researcher and other time off recently, I'd have contemplated a sick day, because I slept horribly.)

So, constant balancing act, not actually amenable to advance planning, even though that would simplify a lot.
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Morbid

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2018, 11:47:07 am »

So, constant balancing act, not actually amenable to advance planning, even though that would simplify a lot.

We had spoken briefly last night on the subject but I'm glad I was able to get a more in depth answer today.  While I don't have the chronic illness issue, I do have three kids and a business to run which can have similar effects to getting in the way and interrupting.  With me, I have to remind myself sometimes that life happens and sometimes you have to take it a day at the time.  Like for instance this past weekend we were supposed to be having a bonfire to welcome the spring equinox which is fairly common practice for my circle.  But with my father-in-law passing away last week and arrangements being made this weekend, that obviously has to be pushed back until next week. 

I suppose then my biggest advice if we're taking into consideration the chronic illness is firstly know your body and what you're capable of - which it sounds like you do.  Then factoring in the hey life happens type deal.  I know I personally would love to be able to ritual more but we also have to work around our lives.  Having five people in one house with five lives does complicate things on that respect. 
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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2018, 07:56:53 am »
I'm curious about how other people balance timing and other things, for rituals or magical practices that have some complexity (i.e. need some set up, or will take an hour or so to do, not daily things or short things you do regularly).

What works for you? What doesn't? What sometimes works? Do you have tricks for doing this?

(The reason I'm thinking about this today in a following reply.)

The short answer is that I really don't.  If my friend who lives locally doesn't make a plan and have me over for the thing then it doesn't tend to happen.

But then I don't currently do any ritual or other work collectively with others, besides my one friend mentioned above.  And I don't do it at my home because I too have some chronic health stuff so my place is never up to a standard where I'd be prepared to do anything very much at home.

For day to day stuff I've had some success with writing my To Do list (for e.g. household chores etc) in such a way that it's broken down into segments of however long I think a specific task's going to take.  But that only really works on days when my energy's reasonably okay, plus there's still only so many hours in a day.

I've also had some sort-of-success with writing "negotiable" To Do lists with high priority tasks at the top and the less crucial stuff elsewhere on the page (usually at the bottom, as you'd imagine).  But this still has the effect of: I might get the crucial stuff done but most of the negotiable stuff is going to go undone.  By putting it at the bottom of the page I've given myself permission not to worry about it, but it still doesn't get done, plus I'll still have run out of time by the time I've done the top part of the list.  So there's still no time for anything else.

So in short I'm still trying some things out but struggling to find anything which really works for me.  If there's a spiritual occasion which I particularly want to celebrate, or just to mark it and not have it blend into all the other days, then I usually take a days leave from work, like today.
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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2018, 06:53:35 pm »
I've also had some sort-of-success with writing "negotiable" To Do lists with high priority tasks at the top and the less crucial stuff elsewhere on the page (usually at the bottom, as you'd imagine).  But this still has the effect of: I might get the crucial stuff done but most of the negotiable stuff is going to go undone.  By putting it at the bottom of the page I've given myself permission not to worry about it, but it still doesn't get done, plus I'll still have run out of time by the time I've done the top part of the list.  So there's still no time for anything else.

I have to deal with something like this at my work, which consists of never-ending piles of administrative tasks of varying complexity, quantity and urgency. I find it helps to alternate focus between big and little stuff; spending most of my time on 'big' items but setting aside regular times to work on the 'small' stuff as it piles up.

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Re: Timing and balance
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2018, 04:37:59 pm »
I have to deal with something like this at my work, which consists of never-ending piles of administrative tasks of varying complexity, quantity and urgency. I find it helps to alternate focus between big and little stuff; spending most of my time on 'big' items but setting aside regular times to work on the 'small' stuff as it piles up.

Oh yes, this sounds quite a lot like my work too and it's definitely good to mix up some quick wins with some bigger pieces of work.
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